In this second volume of a trilogy that represents a landmark contribution to philosophy, psychology, and intellectual history, Walter Kaufmann has selected three seminal figures of the modem period who have radically altered our understanding of what it is to be human. His interpretations of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Buber are lively, accessible, and penetrating, and in the best scholarly tradition they challenge and revise accepted views.
After an introductory chapter on Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer, with particular attention to the former's views on despair and the latter's on insanity and repression, Kaufmann argues that Nietzsche was the first great depth psychologist and shows how he revolutionized human self-understanding. Nietzsche's psychology, including his fascinating psychology of masks, is discussed fully and expertly.
Heidegger's version of existentialism is herein subjected to a devastating attack. After criticizing it, Kaufmann shows how the same mentality finds expression in Heidegger's philosophy and in his now-infamous pro-Nazi writings. Here, as in his portraits of other major thinkers, the author's concern is to show that his subjects are of one piece.
Ivan Soll, who provides the introduction, was a student of Kaufmann and is now professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin. He has written widely on Hegel and German philosophical thought.
Walter Kaufmann (1921-1980) was professor of philosophy at Princeton University from 1947 until his death. He had visiting appointments at Columbia, Cornell, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington among others. His books include The Future of the Humanities, Religion from Tolstoy to Camus,and the three volume series entitled Discovering the Mind.